Mssrs. Driving Casanova

Now that spring is on its way, I’ve taken up cycling to work again.  I thought that it was great timing after the Metro Casanovas of the past few weeks.

But as it turns out, I seem to attract failed Casanovas even while on my bike.

This surprised me because I generally don’t expect advances from strange men while cycling… for the following reasons:

  • I’m on a competition road bike, and I like to maintain a fast clip.  So… no time to talk.
  • Since I’m moving pretty quickly through traffic, I devote my attention to the road around me in order to avoid… well… DYING.  I’m not checking out cute guys in the street.
  • I’m not exactly dressed to go on the pull.  I’m in cycling pants, I’m laden with multiple cable locks and a backpack filled with work documents and clothes, and I’m usually sweating.  A lot.

So why would these Driving Casanovas bother me?  Pure desperation?  For shits and giggles?

Driving Casanova #1

While I was waiting at a stoplight, a pizza delivery guy pulled up next to me on his scooter.  He asked me where Metro Etienne Marcel was.

It was five feet to my right.

So I gave him a scathing look and just pointed.

Him: “Thanks, you’re so helpful!  What’s your address?”  He winked.

Me:  “NO.  Bugger off.”

Him: “Can I at least have your number?  You’re so beautiful.”  (HAH.  Lies.)

Me:  “Never.  A real man never asks for directions.”

Then the light changed, and I shot off.

He followed me for three blocks, all the while trying to convince me to give him my number.  I finally lost him when I took a shortcut behind the Louvre.

Driving Casanova #2, #3, and #4

Remember all those cheesy movies in which the guy serenades his lady-love outside her window?  Remember how in the 80s, this image evolved into a guy holding up his mini-boombox to his gal’s balcony as it blasted out sappy love ballads?

Fast-forward to Paris 2010.

Picture a sweaty, exhausted female cyclist on her way home from a long day at work.

Now picture a trio of dodgy Driving Casanovas in a large white unmarked van.

On this particular day, Driving Casanova #2 leaned out the passenger side window and shouted:

“Vous êtes sublime, mademoiselle.  Je te kiffe grave.”  (“You’re freaking hot.  I really like you.”)

Then he signals to Driving Casanova #3, who then cues up…

…Bryan Adams.  “Everything I do.”

I almost fell off my bike laughing.  Which would have been awkward, since I was still clipped in to the pedals.

These three Driving Casanovas followed me through stop-and-go traffic in the bus/bike lane from Châtelet all the way to Gare de l’Est (about 2 km).  They sang along and executed elaborate hand/arm gestures to a playlist that included:

  • Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You”
  • Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”
  • Britney’s “I’m a Slave 4 U”
  • Beyoncé’s “Naughty Girl”
  • Bare Naked Ladies’ “Be My Yoko Ono” (Yeah.  I know.)

Driving Casanova #5

Remember when you were little, and the boys showed their love by beating you in P.E. sports and then mocking you afterward?

Well, apparently some guys don’t outgrow this behavior.

I met Driving Casanova #5 at a stoplight at Port Royal.  He was dressed in a dapper tweed jacket and riding one of the public Vélib bikes, the big clunky Dutch-style bikes with the baskets out in front and only three speeds.

I saw him look me up and down as we’re waiting for the light to turn.

“Great,” I thought.  “I wonder what this guy’s strategy will be…”

Apparently this poor fool needed to prove his manliness by pedaling for dear life on his crappy public bike — just to “beat” me.

Really?  I’m on road racing bike that’s light enough for me to hoist over my shoulder with one arm.  This fool was trippin’.

I was coasting, barely pedaling, just to soak in the hilarity of this idiot’s posturing — his arms, legs and tweed jacket flapping about, his chest heaving…  The complete opposite of manly.  And when he “beat” me to the next stoplight, he turned to me and grinned.

Him:  “I just wanted to make sure that you were a woman after all.”

Me:  Speechless.

Him:  “So do you want to have coffee with me sometime?”

Me:  Still speechless.  I managed to shake my head emphatically.

I began pedaling up to speed, and when I looked back three blocks later, I saw this tiny tweed figure pull over and bend over to vomit in the gutter.



Ah springtime in Paris…

Next, next, and next, please!


Filed under Misters

19 responses to “Mssrs. Driving Casanova

  1. Alex

    I like the last one the most by far. And don’t be too harsh – guys sometimes pull the trigger when they are intimidated by pretty ladies. In fact, I know one who did this before he asked out his now girlfriend of three years. He’s a year away from being a professor. And no, Helene, it’s not me.

    But I just needed to chime in that your “Hate Late?” image was taken in Makati, Philippines. The Bank of the Philippine Islands logo is in the back, and there are a ton of roadside vendor umbrellas in the background. An added bonus 🙂

  2. Ari

    Ha ha, I have to say I liked the 3 guys serenading you… but the fact that you made the last guy throw up is totally awesome.

  3. hahahaha you make me want to pee my pants.

    What can I say….

    I’mma slaaaaaaaave 4Uuuu!


  4. @Alex – I try not to be too harsh. And honestly, the whole affair was funny more than repulsive. But you can’t try to let these guys off the hook by saying that they’re intimidated by pretty ladies. At the time, I swear, I looked like ass.

    Also, that “Hate Late” picture was a test to make sure that you keep up to date with my blog. Congratulations, you passed the test!

    @Ari – I have to admit, the triple-teamed serenade was almost endearing. Too bad they weren’t cute. Also, I do feel a little proud of myself for making a guy vomit. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel like such a bad-ass.

    @amburgular – Yay! I know that I’ve been successful when I provoke urinary accidents! 🙂

  5. Just dropping by for the first time via Jacks’ blog … am so glad I did !

    You were serenaded by casanovas out of a white unmarked van ! woman do you realize just how much they want you 😛 At least you have the attention of the pansy casanovas .. I’m stuck in a city where the men are still finding their balls to make a move on women !

    I can now vicariously live through your adventures as well 🙂 Good to have found you and looking forward to more of your posts 🙂

    p.s I’m competitive as hell but I’ll take a step back and not let you kick my ass on a bicycle .. cos I truly believe I’d be stopping 3 blocks behind you to hurl 😦 you are my bicycle queen !

  6. Yes, definitely bookmarking this blog. Make sme want to book a trip to Paris.

  7. I can totally relate to biking in traffic, it was all I did for years in Japan. I never really had anyone hit on me though… =(

    Once after blowing through a stoplight while trying to draft a bus I heard guys screaming at me to stop. I slowed down to see three police men on bikes furiously peddling after me on their 200 pound grandma bikes. What blew me away was they refused to leave the sidewalk and one nearly toppled from too much speed while catching the edge of the curb. I figured since the Japanese didn’t heed them much neither would I and I took off.

    After 7 years and countless police yelling at me, I never got in trouble. (don’t tell them)

  8. @Dazediva – I’m glad that you stopped by too! Thanks heaps for the compliments, and am so happy to have you on board the Man-shopping train 🙂 As for the pansy casanovas, they might shower a lady with unwanted attention, but I doubt that they have much follow-through… they are pansies after all!

    @AndThatsWhyYoureSingle – Yay! Come to Paris anytime and experience the weirdosity for yourself 😉

    @Mike – I’m guessing that you didn’t get hit on because those Japanese ladies have… oh, I don’t know… some self-respect? 🙂 Love the image of your high-speed police chase there, Mike! Mike Masters vs. a gang of 200 pound grandma bikes… I’d like to see how Ben would caption that!

  9. Haha, fun post. I see a lot of myself in some of these guys.

  10. 1Y3

    oh. my. goodness.

    i’m going to be in paris this summer for a few months as an intern, so i’ve been searching for amusing blogs. so far, most of them have been the generic “here’s versailles, here’s my favorite cafe” deal.

    but this is epic. and i hope you keep blogging for awhile. PROPS.

    • Thanks, 1Y3! I hope to keep blogging as long as I can. Considering how things have been going so far, it will be a while before I run out of material…

      And as much as I bitch about this town, I love it. I think that you’re going to have a blasty-blast here this summer!

  11. Maybe the cycling pants are working FOR you rather than AGAINST you like you think…a chick in leotard?…I’m pretty sure that’s every guys wet dream…

    I’m thinking you should get them to start lining behind you like a groupie cheering section…very “tour de work commute”…a sort of…fan procession 😛

    • But the cycling shorts are padded! And not in a flattering way….

      But I’m not going to complain if they form into a fan procession. That would be AWESOME. I could use the moral support on Rue Saint-Jacques, where the damn incline and gazillion stoplights kick my ass every time. Brilliant idea! I will bring it up at the next Driving Casanova fan club meeting 🙂

  12. Hey, at least they were trying! And provided commuting entertainment.

    Found you through Mike’s blog. I think I’ll take a look around 🙂

  13. We are kindred souls, I think. No doubt these would be the exact caliber of men I would find on a bike ride.

  14. Pingback: Ms. Boston Man-shopper « Man-shopping in Paris

  15. Pingback: Mssrs. Mini Casanova | Man-shopping in Paris

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